Intraarticular pressure of the shoulder

Eiji Itoi, Neil E. Motzkin, Anthony O. Browne, Pierre Hoffmeyer, Bernard F. Morrey, Kai Nan An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Nine fresh frozen cadaveric shoulders were used to examine the changes in intraarticular pressure (IAP) of the shoulder joint and the position of the humeral head under various loads to determine the relationship between these parameters. All the soft tissues superficial to the rotator cuff were removed. The position of the humerus relative to the scapula was monitored using an electromagnetic tracking system before and after venting the capsule with 0, 0.5, and 1.0 kg of load applied to the humerus inferiorly in addition to the weight of the arm. Simultaneously, the IAP was monitored using a pressure transducer before venting the capsule. Venting had a significant effect on the position of the humeral head: the positions of the head after venting were significantly lowered in all loading conditions. The average IAP was −76 cm H2O without load, and the value decreased in a linear fashion with increased load; the correlations were significant in four of six shoulders without dislocation. The correlations were less significant between the pressure and the position, and there were no significant correlations between the load and the position. IAP, which is determined primarily by the load applied, is important to stabilize the shoulder inferiorly. Because IAP is intimately related to the external load and the response is specific to individuals, examination of IAP response to external load may be helpful in characterizing various instabilities of the shoulder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-413
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


  • Instability
  • Intraarticular pressure
  • Shoulder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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